Content is king, it usually is! But links are important to generate traffic to your website. So which one would you prioritize, to hire a content writer to speed up your content marketing or hire a link builder to generate as much links in hopes to get your website rank higher on search results? Sure SEO is still a numbers game, but don’t get me wrong here.
Remember the Google Panda update released a few months ago? It was aimed for websites that have low value content, not to block them but reduce their rankings on search results. So producing mass general articles won’t do you any good at all even how many times you use your target keywords in the content. On the other hand, excessive link building may hurt rather help your website’s rankings.
So what you need to do?You should focus on building content that drives people to link and share your content. Those organic inbound links you’ll generate would definitely rank your website higher on search results. There should be a balance between a number of content and the traffic it gets around the web.
Build content that attracts natural links
What types of articles you should be writing for your website to get better rankings? You should focus on building content that provides information such as case studies or research, in-depth reports and step-by-step tutorials.
Quality articles can produce natural links. What that means is that, the higher the value of content you provide to your readers, the better chance you’ll generate inbound links to your website. So if you’re focusing on creating quality content, at the same time you’re building links effortlessly to your content.
Here are some advantages you will get for providing quality articles
Generate inbound links
You can score an inbound link from other bloggers who might have stumbled on your article. If they find it useful they might use it as reference on their next post. So take time to research in order to give value to your readers. Just take a look at one of the posts on Copyblogger, 10 Effective Ways to Get More Blog Subscribers. Currently it has 189 sites linking to that post!
A quality article encourages your readers to chime in and add their own thoughts about the topic. They may agree or contradict with you but at least you have started a conversation and it’s the best way to get engaged with them.
Generates social media shares
If your readers find value in what you are providing them, they would gladly share your content to their own social media networks. You should take note that social media shares do matter with Google and they give high regard to pages that users find valuable. Your page’s social influence is an important factor in determining your website’s level of authority.
Improves your brand
Once your articles get shared across social media platforms, you also get a chance to expose your brand thus increasing your brand awareness. So when people see you as a thought leader in your niche, you also develop that authority over the other brands.
How to build a quality content and make people link to it? Or probably other people would love calling it a link bait.
Know what’s hot on the web
Do you remember when Pinterest was just starting to gain attention? A lot of “how to” articles about Pinterest came out and they were easily shared on social media and attracted a lot of comments. So how can you take advantage of the latest trends on the web?
Ask yourself these three questions:
- how this can affect your niche
- what are its advantages and disadvantages
- what can you learn from it and how can you apply it on your business
Then, write your own post using these guidelines with proof of your experiments or findings you may have.
Tools to find some hot topics on the web
Google Trends – use this when you want to target audience in a specific area and know the latest trend in your niche. (Click here on how to use Google Trends).
Google Insights – use this tool to search for topics on an area of interest that people are looking for around the web. (Click here on how to use Google Insights for Search).
Google Reader – list all your favorite blogs in your niche and subscribe to them. Sometimes by just looking on the headlines you will notice the latest trend that are currently buzzing.
Social Media and blogs – Youtube, Twitter and other blogs display the current hottest topics on their website, so you may want to check them too.
Know what your target audience problems
“How to” articles are direct and addresses a specific problem. So if you know your target audience well, solving their problems by creating a tutorial or giving some tips in your articles would be great! I am certain that they would love to click on your article and share it. Take note, you should learn how to write for your audience and not for search engines because all those links will just start to come.
Here are some tools or websites that can help you find identify your target audience’s issues:
- Quora – a question and answer website that enables users to post questions and respond to other questions.
- LinkedIn Answers is also a great place to find questions and gain attention.
- Reddit – helps you identify the most popular topic and what topics your target audience wants to know about.
Here’s an example question from Reddit that you can make a topic for you blog.
Providing quality content makes you more influential
You know the‘build it, and they will come’ mentality?When you write articles, your name or your business name is attached to your article. So when people see your articles getting shared on different social media and getting mentioned in some blogs, it helps build your authority and people will perceive you as a thought leader in your chosen niche.
When you have established that authority, you can generate inbound links almost effortlessly. People will simply keep coming back to your blog and read your latest posts and share to their networks.
In addition, you can add a commenting system to your blog that will let your readers who have left a comment to share their comments to their social media accounts. Rather than just sharing a blog title and link, it would be more interesting to share a comment in order for them to get engaged to their followers too. So it’s a win-win strategy for both of you because you’re link is attached to their comments.
Content and links have equal importance to SEO, but it starts with creating quality content. Link building is just the after effect so you should focus first on where it is founded. Providing content would gain trust from your audience and soon they will become loyal customers.
So remember to build content for your readers not for search engines in order to gain quality links. Better start one now to avoid Google’s penalties in the future.